Linguine? Lobster? Labradoodle? Unfortunately none of these are quite the mysterious dictionary inhabitant I am discussing today, however a blog post on linguine would be so carbalicious. Love. Love it, hate it, love is something that will smack us in the face once a year in February, or something that controls our bodies when we see those platforms in your size at the bottom of the sale rail. In all seriousness, Love is something that is all encompassing and intimidating in 2016, something that has an odd haze of pressure around whilst still having a naive, unpredictability about it. It is definite that in this modern millennial arena we find ourselves in, love will always be somewhere to bite you on the bum, but whether or not it’s in a good way is another story.
I think for me the first idea or connotation of love I ever fathomed was for One Direction which yes is hilarious, however when you’re 13 and infatuated with a hormonal collage of beige boys it feels like this is the Romeo and Juliet love that you have finally found. Of course this was never the case, however it was something at that age I had never thought about. I’d never had a relationship, never had genuine feelings for anyone cohesive before and to be honest at the age of 13 I was more concerned with straightening my fringe appropriately and werking my new school uniform to death. Potentially as a new member of the LGBTQIA community my first port of call was trying not to get through the first year of a new school as a relatively open homosexual, rather than having a cheeky snog with the guy who sat next to me in maths.
I think the first realisation that love was a ‘thing’ was during around the ages of 16 to the present day. This realisation didn’t come from a fleeting romance with a milkman, nor did a rugged member of the rugby team help me pick my Jacqueline Wilson book collection up in the hall way when I ‘accidentally dropped them’ (don’t lie you’ve tried that trick) (also to be honest I fancied the teachers more than the students). It came in the absence of love. It came in the realisation that love is heteronormative. Think about it. Society is ideally focused on a man and a woman, growing up together, falling in love, having 2.4 children, being wealthy and then gracefully dying of old age together, probably in Benidorm or Skegness. For people who even strayed slightly from that generic it was going to be difficult, especially growing up in a small town. As my identity grew and I realised and (to coin a disgusting phrase) ‘blossomed’, I realised no matter how high love was on my list, it was never going to be fulfilled a) where I was living and b) at this age.
A question I always ask myself is why is love seen as something that validates people. When people suddenly get into relationships why do people then see them as complete humans, all their problems have disappeared and they are now flawless? Why is love something that people are always searching for? Why is it essentially marketed as a potion or medicine that is going to fix everything for someone, a key to the lock of your inner self? Don’t get me wrong, earning self validation from someone else’s appreciation of you is in no way wrong, but neither is it essential to self love and validation. You don’t need someone to love you to be able to love yourself.
In the trans community and the non-binary/genderqueer community sex work is common and love is rare. A sad truth. The sex working community in my eyes is something that needs to be legalised. It can then be monitored, labels are reduced reducing sex workers self prophecising themselves as worthless and non human. It is a way to make money, and for many trans people who are desperate for money for hormones/reassignment surgery/a home, it is the only option. Love goes out the window. Love is at the bottom of the list, just hanging on by a thread because they’re more concerned with not being killed and having to deal with the constant last resort of fetishization of their bodies for money, rather than wondering if that cute guy on the bus was looking at them in an interested manner. Just like most things in society, love benefits the privileged. The white middle classes. The men.
Love is also subjective and versatile. The age old question of “what is love?” is again something that frustrates me. For me, love is knowing that I can spend the whole day watching Ugly Betty and that I have a baguette under my bed so I don’t have to go to the kitchen to get food, but this comes from the ‘only ever been single’ ginger virgin behind this very keyboard. Love for John who works in Starbucks is when that cute blonde guy comes in and asks for a tall green tea. It is subjective and all encompassing on a personal level. The fact that people try and generalise an emotion, a feeling, an experience is barbaric. The only thing trying to generalise and marginalise love results in is prejudice from people who don’t fit the binary of what these magical people have decided love is. For example, when there is a large age gap, or if there are three way relationships, or long distance relationships, same sex relationships, asexual relationships. Relationships that again, as I have stated, don’t include white John and white Susan from Cambridge taking their son Joshua to nursery before the morning rush.
Now a days, as an 18 year old first year in a relatively liberal university setting, love is still illusive. Yes things have changed since I have moved and there have been potential anomalies on the love graph however it is still something that has a high desire yet a small input. It is something, as a genderqueer individual, that I am slowly realising is not going to happen quickly, or easily, or is it going to happen in the conventional style. ‘Doesn’t that suit you’ I hear you chorus from your screens? Yes in a way it does. Nothing in my life is usually conventional, not usually by choice, however when there is pressure and potentially a man made hole in your life that is love, it can be frustrating when you’re just told to ‘just wait a little longer, mr right will be around the corner’. Don’t get me wrong I know that because I am gorgeous, however this void is something ever so easily filled.
Love yourself. Bump into yourself in the hallway. Pick your own books up. Buy yourself dinner. Smile at yourself cheekily. Make yourself laugh. Dress up for yourself. At the end of the day who are you going to have to live with for the rest of your life? That fit guy who serves you coffee, or yourself? Yes it’s easy to say, and yes days are easier than others, but as the queen herself said, ‘if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love somebody else?’.
And there for me RuPaul has it locked down. Learning about yourself, your quirks and all your own nooks and crannies not only makes you self confident and self appreciative, but ensures that your armour is strong and you can climb aboard the love train whenever your ride arrives with all of your lives intact, so when the journey gets shit and you feel like you’re literally hanging on by an eyelash, you can fall and know that you will be there for yourself to pick you up, rebuild yourself, and move on. Nothings easy and I am still learning to love myself everyday, but nothing happens over night, but things do happen when you make them happen.
Love isn’t illusive, it’s exclusive. Exclusive to you.